News and Events

In-Person and Remote Advising Available

The Department of Linguistics will be open most days, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Remote and in-person advising options are available. Please see our Faculty and Staff page for office hours and contact information.

Linguistics Tutoring

Drop-in linguistics tutoring is open to all linguistics students in BH 403

Spring drop-in hours TBD

Linguistics major Yukaiya Nomoto posing near the Ridgeway Sigma building sign at Western Washington University.

Read about WWU student Yukaiya Nomoto's experience at CoLang 2022

A starry background with the text, The Podling Season 3.

Produced and hosted by WWU linguistics students, The Podling season 3 is available now!

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It’s important to us that our department is not only a welcoming place for everyone, intolerant of discrimination, but that we are actively working to dismantle power structures that serve to discriminate against underrepresented populations.

Western Talks

In our courses here at Western, we are interested in the ways in which the study of language can provide the tools, the analytical skills, and the historical and cultural context to better understand the ways in which language is used to separate, segregate, and discriminate.  

One way of bringing that work to the attention of the larger community is through the Western Talks, a multi-faceted project to raise awareness of linguistic diversity at Western. 

Welcome Prospective and Incoming Students

It’s the best possible combination of fields – math, cognitive science, formal logic, anthropology, etc. It’s impossible to get bored and there’s always something to learn.

WWU faculty and students at the 2020 LSA Conference

Western's Department of Linguistics can lead students not only to find interesting and engaging careers and jobs but also to give back to their communities in important ways. Our alumni are teaching, creating, writing, analyzing, and serving in a vast array of careers and civic engagement.

We now have a cohort of about 170 students, and an eager and active Associated Students Linguistics Club. Faculty from several departments contribute to our department, including from Modern and Classical Languages, Anthropology, and Computer Science.

Student Spotlight

We want to hear from you. If you have news to share, email us at linguistics@wwu.edu or call us at 360-650-3914.

Niko Attebery

Niko Attebery is outstanding in every way: as a linguist, a mentor, a collaborator, and a colleague. He goes above and beyond in the classroom and in linguistics extracurriculars like the Linguistics Club and the department’s podcast, “The Podling,” which he co-hosted with a goal of bringing linguistics topics and issues to a larger audience. He also worked as a Linguistics Department support staffer for the 2021-22 year. His positive attitude, kindness and generosity are infectious, inviting others into each community he is a part of. With a minor in Japanese, Attebery plans to apply to the Japan Exchange Teaching program to teach English in Japan before applying to graduate schools for linguistics. 

Niko Attebery
2021-2022 Department of Linguistics Outstanding Graduating Senior

Fulbright U.S. Award Recipients

Congratulations to WWU Linguistics Alums Nathan Bucker (Germany) and Molly DeLeo (Germany)

Graduate School Admissions

Madison Peyton, ’22, French with minors in linguistics and Canadian American studies, was accepted into the linguistics graduate school program at Concordia University in Canada.

Claudia Liu, ’22, linguistics, was accepted into the Master of Education program at the University of Washington.

Faculty Spotlight

headphones and a microphone

Edward Vajda was recently interviewed by by radio host Charles McCullough in a podcast titled "Comparing Siberian Ket language to Native American languages"

"Comparative-Historical Yeniseian Dictionary Volume I (A-Ph)" by Edward J. Vajda & Heinrich Werner

Edward Vajda, who teaches linguistics, Russian, and Eurasian studies in Western’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and Heinrich Werner, the world's foremost expert on Yeniseic (Yeniseian) languages, sought to create a comparative-historical Yeniseian dictionary that is readily accessible to English speakers.

Cover of book Mid-Holocene Language Connections between Asia and North America

Edward Vajda, professor of linguistics, Russian, and Eurasian Studies in Western’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences, along with his long-time colleague Michael Fortescue (professor emeritus, University of Copenhagen), have published a new book, Mid-Holocene Language Connections between Asia and North America.

Cover of "Thinking Like a Linguist"

Western Professor of Linguistics Kristin Denham and Assistant Professor of Linguistics Jordan Sandoval have published a new book that introduces the study of language for undergraduate and beginning graduate students who would like to further their linguistics studies.

Dr. Anne Lobeck

Professor of Linguistics Dr. Anne Lobeck was inducted into the 2021 class of Fellows of the Linguistics Society of America.

Dr. Kristin Denham

Western's Dr. Kristin Denham chosen as the LSA's featured member for April 2020.

Other Announcements

Brahm vanWoerden

Linguistics and Spanish major, Brahm vanWoerden, has been chosen as the 2021 Presidential Scholar of the Humanities Division of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Aspen Clark

Aspen Clark, '21, linguistics, presented their research at the 15th annual Cornell Undergraduate Linguistics Colloquium (CULC15), May 2021.

Dr. Shaw Gynan

We lost an important member of our linguistics community, Dr. Shaw Gynan. Read Dr. Shaw's story.

About the Linguistics Department

Linguistics is the scientific study of language. There are many ways to pursue the study of language, and as in any scientific discipline, researchers have varied goals, distinct questions to pose, and different directions of research.  Some linguists study the grammar, or rule system, of language, and others are more interested in the social factors, such as gender, age, ethnicity and other variables, that influence how we use language. Still others study how languages change over time, how children acquire language, or how our brains process and produce language. Communication in today’s complex society requires knowledge of the workings of language in general and of specific languages as well as their interrelationship with their respective cultures. All Linguistics majors are expected to acquire knowledge of the workings of language at various levels and demonstrate data analysis and other methodological techniques used to study language. A student of linguistics will thereby significantly advance their understanding of linguistic and cultural diversity and will have the tools to work in and across disciplines to explore questions related to language, and to therefore understand and advance what it means to be human.

Contact Information

Mailing Address

Linguistics Department
Western Washington University
516 High Street, MS 9190
Bellingham, WA 98225


Bond Hall 418

Phone: 360-650-3914

/dʌb dʌb ju/ Linguistics